How to Procure Web-scale IT Infrastructure Expertise

Here’s the challenge. Your CEO won’t accept anything less than a world-class IT infrastructure that meets the expectations of his most informed Line-of-Business leaders. If you’re the CIO and you don’t want to rely upon public cloud service providers, then are you ready to deliver the caliber of IT services that they can provision?

Take a moment. Consider the implications. Ponder the impact of your actions.

All the leading public cloud services providers routinely design and assemble their own data center infrastructure components, due to their extreme needs for scale and cost control. Regardless of the cloud services company, a common element among all these devices is a requirement to run an open-source operating system, such as Linux, and various other purpose-built open-source software components. Gartner, Inc. refers to this trend as the Web-scale IT phenomena.

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Announcing @SoftwareAG_NA “Exhibitor” of @CloudExpo Silicon Valley [#IoT]

Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and
integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.

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New survey shows slight increase in uptake of VDI solutions

It’s long been mooted that virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) just isn’t ready for mainstream deployment, even though Gartner predicted there would be 49 million VDI users by the end of 2013.

Whether it’s down to incompatibility or price is a matter of executive opinion. Yet a new survey for CloudTech by IP EXPO Europe has revealed a small amount of growth in the space.

According to the survey, of 300 UK IT directors and managers on IT infrastructure, over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed had implemented local virtual desktops, while around one in five (18%) had implemented desktop as a service (DaaS).

Even though it’s certainly not a majority, these numbers represent a chunk of the sector exploring virtualised desktops for their organisation. However, only 21% of respondents said they would consider VDI or DaaS in the future.

This may be the more illuminating stat – and other research shows these figures might be a little higher than expected. The DataCore State of Virtualisation survey, from March last year, showed that more than half of organisations hadn’t implemented virtual desktops at all. Gartner expects a maximum of 15% VDI penetration by 2015.

As 2X Software’s Giorgio Bonuccelli wrote for CloudTech earlier this month, VDI penetration is still less than 2% of all desktops worldwide.

“VDI has been touted as the short cut to cloud computing, so what has put a sea of traffic cones in the way?” he asked.

Incompatibility is a big issue. As Brian Madden wrote earlier this month, user experience of VDI on a tablet is not good – because VDI is about delivering Windows apps from devices with precision mice and keyboards to, usually, a mobile device. The form factor change just doesn’t work.

So what other options are available? Software defined networking (SDN) is an opportunity, but the landscape is mixed for this self aware network. Four out of 10 polled said they were adopting SDN in their data centre, with one in six (16%) on premise. Yet one in eight (12%) said they were unfamiliar with the concept.

What do you make of current VDI penetration? Would you use it at your company?

Tech News Recap for the Week of 9/22/2014

Were you busy last week? Here’s a quick tech news recap of articles you may have missed from the week of 9/22/2014.

Tech News Recap

Tech News The biggest story this week was about the software vulnerability Shellshock. Be sure to read up on this and how it may be impacting your environment. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reviews are out. Amazon workers in Germany are on strike again. Russia has told Facebook, Google & Twitter to comply with its law on data storage. There were also some strong articles around cloud storage, ransomware, analytics, IT savings in the cloud, and connectivity in city services.


What top tech news did we miss? Leave a comment with links to any quality articles from last week that other readers may enjoy!

On-demand webinar “How to Modernize IT by Killing the Transactional Treadmill




Every cloud needs a home – but not just any home

Picture credit: Diana Parkhouse/Flickr

The phenomenal growth in cloud based service delivery and managed services is changing essential data centre requirements. For any Managed Services or Software as a Service (SaaS) provider looking for a data centre to support this critical new business model and meet 99.999% customer Service Level Agreements (SLA), issues such as the resilience of connectivity and power, as well as security are clearly critical.

Organisations also need to consider the time it takes to get engineers on site – not only to address issues that may impact the SLA but also to set up and install new customer equipment quickly.

While every cloud clearly needs a home – it cannot be just any home.

New Imperative

Gartner predicts that by 2016 cloud computing will make up the bulk of new IT spend. 2016 is also predicted to be a defining year as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud and nearly half of large enterprises are expected to have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017. The resultant shift towards Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is having a fundamental impact on data centre priorities.

These cloud services require a physical infrastructure: a safe and secure environment from which the business critical servers and hard drives that contain the applications and data can operate. They require fast, uninterrupted data connections, a totally secure and reliable power supply and buildings that offer the highest possible levels of security.

Five keys to finding the right home for the cloud

Key 1: Location

The right data centre location is not just about the obvious requirements of avoiding the flood plain or flight path, although these are clearly essential.  For any Managed Services provider there are a number of other considerations, not least the time it takes engineers to travel to and from the data centre. While travel time is less of an issue for a colocation site that will rely on remote management and data centre staff for the majority of support requirements, most Managed Services providers have a far more hands on approach.

From adding new customer equipment, to the need to ensure any issues are immediately addressed to meet customer Service Level Agreements (SLA) and avoid problems, the speed with which engineers can reach the data centre can be critical. A data centre in central London that can be accessed in minutes rather than hours reduces wasted travel time and costs, enabling a far more responsive service.

Key 2: Business Scalability

With many Managed Services providers making their first foray into the cloud, it is extremely tough to predict business growth – and hence data centre requirements. It is therefore essential to look for an environment that offers flexibility. For example, can the data centre run high density and low density racks side by side? Without row-based, rack level cooling, an organisation might struggle to adapt or add racks without the upheaval of moving to a different location within the building.  Checking the options available for adding and expanding racks is essential for any provider expecting to rapidly scale up its cloud based business.

Key 3: Connectivity

Cisco estimates that by 2017 global cloud traffic will reach 5.3 zettabytes (one zettabyte of data is the equivalent to the information stored on around 250 billion DVDs). In this environment the issue is not only the reliability of the connectivity but also latency: the ability to offer transmission time in nanoseconds fundamentally transforms the quality and type of solutions and services that can be offered.

In terms of resilience, every data centre offers multiple Tier 2 carrier options. Few, however, are able to offer multiple Tier 1 carriers. As a result, this means that the connectivity is still reliant upon a single fibre provider – typically BT. Without diverse fibre connections, the back-up options are limited: any damage to the underlying cable network – for example, damage during road works – will take out every Tier 2 connection that is simply using the same last mile from BT. For any Managed Services provider it is essential to look for a data centre with multiple Tier 1 carrier options and diverse entry points into the building as well as Tier 2 carrier services, in order to achieve full resilience.

Key 4: Power Supply

All Data Centres can be expected to have a dual power supply from the grid; and all have some form of resiliency or back up to the grid power supply from an array of batteries or generators. How many in central London, however, can offer dedicated 33KV transformers?  Most urban data centres are limited to 11KV tapped into one main grid substation – if that goes out, they will lose both A and B grid feeds. A data centre should take dual feeds from different substations to provide true resilience – however, given the limitations regarding power supply in London this is becoming harder and harder to achieve creating potentially huge risks for Managed Services providers.

Key 5: Security

Security has always been a vital consideration within any data centre environment. From a bomb proof building to multiple levels of security to access the building and the server room and the additional option of adding cages around the racks, or even a dedicated private suite, a depth of security facilities is key to support the changing threat risk. Given customer concerns regarding the data security in the cloud, it is essential for any Managed Services provider to be highly confident in the procedures in place, from authorised and unauthorised access to fire and vandalism risks.


The cloud has transformed the way businesses operate and the way the world does business. However, in what is becoming a commodity marketplace there is a risk that organisations are failing to understand the essential data centre requirements. This is a business critical decision – rather than buying down to a price, expectations should be rising and organisations should be continually looking for more from providers to support an evolving business model.

The right environment does not only minimise risk but also reduces costs by cutting non-productive engineer time and improves responsiveness to customers. Isn’t it time to unlock the right home for the cloud?

e-Book: Monetizing the ‘Internet of Things’ by @AriaSystemsInc | @ThingsExpo

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That’s the subject of “Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines,” an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.

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(R)Evolution of Content Delivery Networks into App Delivery Networks

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are a traditional mechanism for both improving the delivery speed of a web site while also reducing the network load on the origin servers that provide the web site. The CDN accomplishes these two goals by offloading static content from the origin web servers into edge servers that are distributed around the Internet close to the users accessing the web site.
When a user on the Internet accesses a web site backed by a CDN, the dynamic content requests are typically serviced by the origin web servers while the static content requests are serviced by the CDN. Large CDNs are typically comprised of hundreds to thousands of edge servers globally distributed to be close to all of the Internet’s users – making them ideal places to store web site content for fast retrieval by web site visitors.

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‘Internet of Things’ and Sensor Data | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges.
In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.

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Fulfilling IT’s Promise in the ‘Internet of Things’ Era @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.

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Announcing @Bitium “Exhibitor” of @CloudExpo Silicon Valley

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Bitium was founded by Kriz and Erik Gustavson. The 1,500 cloud-based application using Bitium’s analytics, app management, and single sign-on services include bug trackers, customer service dashboards, Google Apps, and social networks. The firm states website administrators can do multiple tasks online without revealing passwords. Bitium’s advisors include Microsoft’s former CMO and the former senior vice president of strategy, the founder and CEO of, a product strategist at IBM and Oracle, Hootsuite’s CEO, and the founder and CEO of KISSMetric, among others. More about Bitium can be found on its website at

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